Saturday, May 22, 2010


I went in to the local Roy Rogers fast food outlet yesterday
(never mind why, it certainly was not for myself!). On one
section of their price board, above and behind the cashiers, was
the following list:

bottled water $1.45
coffee or tea $1.25
milk $1.10
orange juice $1.35

Now, I lead a lonely life here. I insist that nearly everybody in
my culture is insane, and as a result, must people want nothing to do
with me. But am I really wrong? What am I missing?

Friday, May 21, 2010


There is one, and only one, way out of this crisis.

The crisis was brought about, slowly, over a very long period of time, by allowing for too many debts; for loaning too much money to too many people who will never be able to pay it off. (It was bad judgment on the part of the bankers,
to begin with. They created it by taking too high risks.)

It cannot be fixed the way that they are trying to fix it now;
everything that is being done is the equivalent of throwing gasoline
on the fire. It cannot be fixed any other way. Either you do it or else
it will be done to you by forces that are bigger than you are.

The only way out is for all debts, public and private, to be forgiven.
Wiped off the books. Start over.

You cannot postpone it much longer ... we are about to see civil
unrest and general social collapse ... your money is all worthless anyway,
it has no value at all ... the emperor has been quite naked for such
a very long time ...

Friday, May 14, 2010


I interpreted last thursday's 1000-point drop, and subsequent recovery,
to be the warning-signal to anyone still in the water, that the sharks are coming.
My own portfolio was heavily short. I happened to close out most of the shorts
when I saw the jaw-dropping changes; then reopened them just before the closing
bell, so I had a profitable day. Even after the next monday's gap up I was
still looking good. After that, of course, I took on even more shorts.
That leaves only one gold position as a naked long, everything else is hedged or
From what I'm reading about the deterioration in European markets, I
believe that not even the PPT can keep stocks from falling now. For what its
worth, I stand to clean up better than John Paulson did last time. I
seriously doubt that I'll ever be able to actually spend the cash.
The only thing saving us all from instantaneous breakdown is us shorts;
I'm quite aware that there's a whole lot of savvy folk like me, who
have gone short with a whole lot more wealth than I have.
I traded my physical gold for a piece of real estate last month.
I expect gold to continue up for awhile. However, in a situation of
anarchy and general social collapse, owning gold is not going to be
good for one's health. Not with americans armed to the teeth and
drugged to a frenetic torpor with CNBC.
The internet itself will not last too much longer. Satellites have
a way of drifting out of orbit when they are not closely monitored.
Infrastructure requires constant vigilant maintenance. However,
more and more of the intellectual giants find that the only stimulating,
fascinating endeavors lie in the arena of finding new holes and
more devious exploits.
I pay for old sins. My parents had imminent trust in "the establishment"
and they turned me over to the psychiatrists, I expect as much in order
to protect me from the drafty winds blowing towards southeast asia as
because of genuine concern fore my behavior. Still, I believed in
personal change as much as social change, so I gave them enough rope
to do real damage to my body. With my smattering of chemistry, I surmise that
Lithium, the drug of first choice for bipolar, mainly acts by binding
with any free iodine in order to short-circuit the thyroid gland and
just radically dampen-down all bodily function. Yes, it definitely
reduces the intensity of emotional expression, and the parents and doctors
and nurses have no idea of what that feels like from the inside, where
the turmoils and dilemmas are just as intense, they just don't show themselves.
Of course it does, as the metabolism slows, the cholesteral and weight rise, the
kidneys, liver, and gastric system all begin to deteriorate. In enough time,
the thyroid typically sustains permanent damage so that stopping the lithium
cannot save you. Thyroid replacement hormone is a safe, simple, well-understood mechanism. If there is enough of a social system exisitng in the world in
order for drug factories to produce it and pharmacies to dispense it. If not,
a young man will slowly become very, very sick. An older man like myself
will whither. I hope it does not take too very long.

God will be with all of you. After a generation or two, the detritus of our
failed culture will whither and become overgrown. Nature will be able to heal
itself and overgrow all our pathetic and ugly social structures. Life itself
will survive and prosper. People will learn to trust and to rely on each other
again, they will learn that giving is a better means of survival than taking.
I just won't be there to see it. But still, its okay, I know that its coming.

chistletoe,(formerly "Pan" of "Pan and Dora")

Sunday, May 9, 2010

From a Distance

My mother asked me recently where she can invest
her assets to keep them safe, from the volatile market
and the rapacious government.
This is how I answered:

It has been said that the safest place to hide your store of food
is in your neighbor's belly.

My only caveat is that I was born into a race full of "takers"
near the peak of their power ... the people in control
take everything they can get their hands on, from everybody,
and give back nothing in return.
their time is over --
its been over ever since they ran out of new people to take from
(the chinese are finally wisening up)

still, among the poorer folk of the world
I have found that most still operate as givers,
where the measure of a man is the amount that he is able to give away.
Like, I have to be the only white man you know
who has a black man come around and mow his lawn out of friendship,
from time to time ... never mind what I do to get that kind of respect ...
Almaz and I agree that Ethiopia is the country of love
while the USA is the country of money ...
but it took her years and years to begin to really understand how everyone here,
especially the rich,
are trying to take money away from her all the time and give nothing back in return.

I could relate some stories about love and sex in Ethiopia
which would be totally misunderstood here
because people here treat sex the same way,
as something to be "taken" from the other person
rather than as a chance to give pleasure ...

The other issue which our society and culture have totally botched
is the issue of security.
Never in history has a society gone to such extremes
to give people the illusion of total protection.
Not only insurance for nearly everything,
but cars are like cocoons, and cubicles and baby carriages and flu shots
and everything.
derivatives, basically, were designed to be financial insurance,
before people on the other side of the transaction began to treat them as leverage.

As Elizabeth Warren (one of our more favorite people these days) puts it,
"Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell."
There must be risk for the system to work.
There must be the potential for failure and calamity of all kinds.

What has happened is that we have made the US government into
the risk-defender of last resort,
the insurance companies' insurance,
the one who protects all of the other organizations that protect.

And what is happening now
(I've said this to a lot of people but not to you yet)
is very much like what Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. was describing
in "The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay"
where everything is going wrong all at the same time
and the protector of last resort is failing, spectacularly.

From a distance, it makes for quite a show.